Saturday, October 03, 2015

On Lawn Mowers

The Man and I are not fans of yard work. When we bought our house, we were actually happy that the yard was considered "small" and "easily managed" by most of our friends and family. Less to maintain, less to worry about, less expensive.

Except it isn't. Coming from apartment living, any increase is a big increase, and we bought a house with about 1,000 square feet of grass. We were so unprepared.

Due to our family and friends telling us our yard was "small," we bought manual yard implements. We bought a rake instead of a leaf blower. We bought a trowel instead of a weed whacker. We bought a reel mower instead of a powered one. And, for almost three years, we struggled and muscled our way through the yard work.

The rake worked well enough the first year, but the trees keep growing and drop more leaves year after year. In just two years, our leaf pile doubled. This year, I sweated it out for the last time raking five maple trees worth of leaves into one pile (I'll borrow a blower next year and be done in fifteen minutes!).

The trowel still comes in handy, but we bought an battery-powered Ryobi weed whacker that also does a fantastic job edging the lawn. We have a weirdly-shaped yard, so getting into edges and cutting around curves can be tricky. The Ryobi hasn't failed once to get into funky places or to cut tough grass.

The reel mower worked great. At first. And only if the grass was cut every few days. And only when the grass was perfectly dry. And only on straight, flat cuts. And only on Tuesdays, or whatever day it wasn't when we needed to mow. Though our reel mower had a bagger, it wasn't super helpful as the bag limited the cutting area, didn't hold very much, and didn't catch all of the clippings. The Man really struggled to make it work, but he wasn't happy with the cut job. He finally threw in the towel this summer. I gave him a reprieve by mowing for him one day, and I almost had a heart attack trying to push that thing through the 6" tall grass. I realized what he was talking about and started researching mowers that day.

We ended up ordering the Ryobi 20" battery-powered lawn mower. It uses the same battery as the edger, so they could be swapped easily. Though the price tag wasn't awesome, we never have to buy or mix gasoline, never have to worry about yanking on the starting cord thingy, and never have to worry about winterizing. Just clean and store. Perfect for us!

Once the mower was delivered (free shipping--thanks Home Depot!), I put it together, and The Man took it for a spin that night. It works perfectly. Our lawn looks immaculate. The surface is so smooth and even now! It is actually weird to drive by my own house and gasp at the evenness of the grass. Talk about curb appeal!

Since the mower is battery-powered, the motor isn't very loud. It isn't quiet enough to use while talking on the phone, but in-person conversations aren't hard.

Now I just need a contraption to prevent weeds from growing on my property. Any suggestions?

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